Big 12 and SEC to Meet in 2016 Allstate Sugar Bowl – Kentucky Preview


Big 12 and SEC to Meet in 2016 Allstate Sugar Bowl – Kentucky Preview park

The Allstate Sugar Bowl secured its future through January 2026 with the announcement that it would host the champions of the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences in eight of the 12 years between 2014 and 2025. If the champion of either or both leagues is selected for the College Football Playoff, a replacement team from that conference will play in the Sugar Bowl. In the four seasons that the Sugar Bowl is not hosting the Big 12 and the SEC (2014, 2017, 2020, 2023), it will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal.

After last year’s Playoff Semifinal game, this year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl will be the first as the official destination for the top available teams from the Big 12 and the SEC. To lead into the season, the Bowl is providing brief previews of each team in the leagues.

University of Kentucky2014 Record: 5-7 (2-6, Sixth in SEC East)

Bowl Projection
Athlon: Independence Bowl vs. North Carolina

Key Returnees
Patrick Towles (Jr., QB): 225-of-393, 2,718 yards, 14 TDs, 9 INT
Stanley Williams (So., RB): 74 carries, 486 yards, 5 TDs
Josh Forrest (Sr., LB): 110 tackles, 7 TFL
Austin MacGinnis (So., PK): 41-of-41 XP, 21-of-27 FGs, 8 FGs of 40? yards – first-team all-conference

Key Stat
Despite only winning two SEC games last year, the first win snapped a 17-game losing streak in league play.

Key Early Games
Sept. 12 at South Carolina (6:30 p.m. Central, SEC Network):
The SEC opener for the Wildcats will be critical as the Gamecocks are pegged to be a middle-of-the-pack team in the SEC East; a loss here puts Kentucky in an early hole.

Sept. 19 vs. Florida (6:30 p.m. Central, SEC Network): The ‘Cats lost a three-overtime thriller to the Gators early last season; a win here will show they are definitely on the upswing under third-year coach Mark Stoops.

Senior Spotlight
Josh Forrest (Senior Linebacker, @Josh4re5t): Forrest led the Wildcats in tackles last year while adding a pair of interceptions, including one he took back for a touchdown against UL-Monroe. The native of Paducah, Ky., ranked fourth in the conference in total tackles and 36th nationally, while sitting second in the league in solo tackles.

Sugar Spotlight
Kentucky’s only appearance in the Sugar Bowl was a memorable one as head coach Bear Bryant put together a masterful game plan for the Wildcats’ January 1, 1951 meeting with powerhouse Oklahoma. The top-ranked Sooners came to New Orleans with a 31-game winning streak, but Wilbur Jamerson had a pair of touchdowns for Kentucky, which shocked the nation with a 13-7 victory. Tackle Walt Yowarsky collected MVP honors after forcing multiple fumbles and picking up key tackles for loss against the vaunted split-T offense.

Look Back at the 1951 Sugar Bowl